Hello again! I am back with more Highlander Mulligans from the week that was! This week I was not able to attend the weekly tournament so we’re going to be looking at some hypothetical hands from some of the top performing decks of the week!
You are on the draw against an Unknown Opponent playing this GW combo list. Your opponent kept their 7 card hand and you see this hand:
This hand is full of mana. Playing Hierarch in Pilgrim and Elves of Deep Shadow. Obviously having 5 mana on turn three sounds enticing but I think that it’s worth approaching this with a bit of caution. We need to hit multiple business spells for this hand to really do anything. Obviously a card like Survival of the Fittest is going to be game winning and since we already have the Vizier most creature tutors in our deck are going to be able to get us infinite mana. The problem is what we do with that infinite mana. Since it’s game 1 and we are on the draw I think this hand is an okay keep but not spectacular.
Let’s examine how this hand’s value changes if we know the match up. Against an aggro deck our game plan is typically to ramp into some sort of powerful threat and use our tutors to either find powerful interaction like Kitchen Finks or to combo kill our opponent. This hand has a real risk of being too slow against aggro we don’t get to interact quickly and they are unlikely to care about our only piece of interaction Karakas. I could be talked into to keeping this hand against aggro but would likely lean towards mulliganing. Against Combo this hand is better. We are unlikely to particularly disrupted and our only goal in that match up is to go fast. This hand makes a lot of mana quickly and with some good draws can threaten the combo get fast enough. The match up we are really hoping to avoid is control. This hand does not contain any relevant pieces to the control match up and we are much more likely to be disrupted in some way. If we knew we were playing against control I would mulligan this hand without question.
You are playing this Cradlehoof or Mono Green Combo list. You are on the draw against Jund Midrange. Your opponent kept their 7 card hand and you draw this as your second 6.
Almost exactly contrary to the last hand this hand is high on business spells but very low on mana sources. Ultimately if you do find a land or a 1 mana mana dork in the first two draws then I believe you are a solid favourite to win the game. This hand even has multiple powerful spells in the match up so a turn 1 hand attack spell is by no means game over. Ultimately even though this hand looks a bit risky I think it’s too good to pass up. You get three looks and 45 of your 96 remaining cards are good. You’re definitely taking a risk in keeping this hand but the reward for hitting a mana source is too high to turn down.
You’re playing this Jund Infect(!) list. You’re on the play against an unknown opponent who mulliganed to first 6.
This deck is not commonly played in the Canlander scene and but put up a 3-1 finish this week. The basic game plan is what you might expect from an infect deck though the Jund colour alignment leans the deck a bit more all in than it’s Sultai counterpart. Typically the best draws in this deck involve a turn one Glistener Elf as that card is uniquely powerful in that it threatens a kill as early as turn 2. In lue of Glistener Elf the other best draws generally involve Infect threat on turn 2, hopefully with protection because you cast it with a mana dork, into a turn 3 kill. Obviously you can’t always plan to have exactly those cards in your opening hand but you want to make sure that you keep hands that contain at least one threat or, at the very worst, a way to find a threat. With all that in mind this hand is interesting. It contains a threat but the threat is quite slow and is also uncastable unless we draw another black source. Assuming we do not do so our hand reasonably poor though we do have the capability to turn any threat into a lethal one with our current sweet of pump spells. Ultimately I think this is an example of a hand that you just can’t throw back. Infect has some serious consistency problems and will often mulligan many times in a game just looking for a hand that does anything. This hand might to technically do anything right away but enough of your deck turns the hand on to make it a reasonable keep. This hand also highlights one of the problems with Infect as an archetype in Highlander. The deck is often times just too fragile to be able to compete against the other highly interactive decks in the format and match ups like Jeskai Midrange and Control can utterly nightmarish.
That’s it for mulligans this week! Do you want to have a deck featured in the mulligans article? Have you had a close mulligan you’d like see discussed? Send it my way at @Canhighlander on twitter!
Thanks again as always!